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Close out case before MMI reached?
#1
Case is in Missouri. We do have an attorney. 

My husband broke his leg (just above the ankle) at work at the end of January 2016. He had surgery the day after to put in a plate and several screws. He's done all the follow up visits and started physical therapy as soon as the doctor ordered it. During his last follow-up visit with the doctor, the doctor was not thrilled with the bone healing rate but said that was probably because my husband is in his mid-50's and older bones just don't heal as well. He also was not happy with his limited range of motion in the affected ankle. And my husband still cannot walk very much because of the pain. He can get around the house and a smaller store, but if he needs to go to Target or Sam's he has to use a motorized cart. He still has to use a cane or crutch at all times. And we pointed out to the doctor that you can feel the screws right under the skin on his ankle, and that spot is exactly where it hurts the most. The doctor said that the screws might need to be removed in the next 6 to 12 months. And he prescribed another 6 weeks of physical therapy on top of the 8 weeks my husband is finishing up. 
Then in the next breath he told my husband to come back in 6 weeks and he'll check him over and they will probably close out the case then. What??  I'm baffled - how can you close out a case on June 30 if the physical therapy doesn't even end until around July 20? And if the healing is not as expected, and the doctor is already talking about further surgeries, why would it be closed out? He is nowhere near what the physical therapist thinks he can improve to. I understand that there will probably always be a limp and pain and stiffness and swelling but I thought most doctors waited around a year to declare Max Med Improvement. It will have only been 5 months at the next appointment. Is it normal to close it out with so many outstanding issues?
Missouri
 
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#2
it's difficult for anyone else to know what the doctor meant by his use of "close out".
the doctor may not have meant MMI. He may have meant just close out the physical therapy portion of the treatment.
it certainly is not what the comp carrier or Missouri work comp laws mean as far as the work comp claim and benefits.
your husband can ask the doctor for a second opinion and/or request a change of doctors at any time.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#3
(05-25-2016, 02:02 PM)1171 Wrote: it's difficult for anyone else to know what the doctor meant  by his use of "close out".
the doctor may not have meant MMI. He may have meant just close out the physical therapy portion of the treatment.
it certainly is not what the comp carrier or Missouri work comp laws mean as far as the work comp claim and benefits.
your husband can ask the doctor for a second opinion and/or request a change of doctors at any time.

Thank you. I didn't even think of him using the term "close out" in a different way. I'll wait until the next appointment and see what happens. I appreciate your time.
Missouri
 
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